Minister for Human Services Nat Cook met with Federal Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth and Federal Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme Bill Shorten last Friday.
They were joined by other state and territory ministers to discuss a range of issues for those living with disability.
Critical matters discussed at the meeting included: getting people out of hospital and into homes; reducing the cost, stress and delay of appeals; and ensuring people in high risk settings, such as supported residential facilities, have access to RATs, PPE and vaccinations.
Ministers also agreed to begin work on critical reviews that will focus on the sustainability and quality of the scheme.
The meeting comes less than a month after the federal election, showing the commitment to those living with disability.
South Australia also continued its push to ensure that a Community Visitor Scheme can play a critical role in supporting people who receive disability services from a range of providers in different settings.
Beyond the NDIS, discussions also included the Australian Disability Strategy and a national approach to Autism Spectrum Disorder – a priority of the Malinauskas Labor Government.
Disability ministers will meet again in late July.
Attributable to Nat Cook
This meeting made real progress on the hugely complex issues facing people with disability and ensured that this policy area is high on the agenda for the new Federal Government, as it is for us here in South Australia.
The meeting was a massive change from the delays and lack of progress in recent years.
The Disability Reform Ministers Meeting is the highest decision-making body for the NDIS and our new state and federal governments are using it to make real change.
We have more than 250 NDIS participants in our hospitals who no longer need acute medical care, half of these are ready for discharge but do not have the housing and support to leave. 50 of these NDIS participants have been ready to leave for more than 100 days.
We agreed to deal with hospital discharge delays as a priority because people with disability deserve a proper home and our hospital capacity is needed to deal with those who need specialist medical care.